Expropriation debate | Bill skewed towards state: Anthea Jeffery responds to Elmien du Plessis

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The writer argues that that the Expropriation Bill is the Bill is just as unconstitutional as the 1975 Expropriation Act it is intended to replace. (iStock)
The writer argues that that the Expropriation Bill is the Bill is just as unconstitutional as the 1975 Expropriation Act it is intended to replace. (iStock)

Dr Anthea Jeffery argues that the Expropriation Bill is a draconian measure that can and will be used to strip South Africans of their homes, land, pension rights, businesses, and other assets and is not a "good piece of legislation" as asserted by Elmien du Plessis.

Elmien du Plessis writes that the Expropriation Bill of 2020 is "a good piece of legislation" for which "we have been waiting for 26 years" (Expropriation Bill: Making law is a political process, but it mustn’t be misread, 4 February). But the Bill is just as unconstitutional as the 1975 Expropriation Act it is intended to replace – so its adoption will hardly be a step forward.

According to Du Plessis, "perhaps the most important contribution" the Bill makes is that "it sets out the procedure" for expropriation. Owners will thus "know what their rights are and what they can do". She seems to assume that owners will have strong and certain rights which the state will be obliged to respect. But this turns the truth on its head, for the procedures set out in the Bill are heavily skewed in favour of the government and are anything but "fair".

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